Thursday, June 24, 2010

What you need to know about rattlesnakes biting your dog

Here is a great article for southern Californians about the risk of rattlesnake bites to our dogs.

This is of interest to me because I would not be able to carry my dog out if I were hiking with her and she were bitten. At the same time, I've been avoiding hiking with them because of the foxtails that are so rampant right now, so I've been able to avoid the issue. But if I were to go camping and wanted to hike with the dogs I'd probably get the vaccine a few months in advance.

Enjoy the article.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Exciting resource for my dog training students!

I'm excited! I'm always looking for great resources for my dog training students, because trying to absorb the information I'm giving them in the midst of a distracting class environment (with highly distracted dogs) can be really challenging. Being able to have a great resource at home to supplement what we're doing in class.

In the past I recommended Peggy Tillman's Clicking With Your Dog book. But I just finished reviewing a book + DVD package from Jean Donaldson that does the trick beautifully and is consistent with the way I teach. (Peggy's book contains many more behaviors, but doesn't contain a DVD, so I still think Peggy's book is great for my students too-- but if I had to recommend just one, this book/DVD set would be it).

It's called Train Your Dog Like a Pro by Jean Donaldson (who runs the Dog Training Academy at the San Francisco SPCA). The DVD is great, and provides a full 2 1/2 hours of training. Being able to SEE proper training modeled is extremely helpful, and I give this resource my mark of approval and will be recommending it to all of my students to augment my personal coaching that they receive in class.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Crate training would have solved this problem.....

Today I received this email below from a desparate dog owner. Will those of you who are not crate-training your dogs please, do so immediately? If this dog had been properly crate-trained as a pup, her transition to a new home would be much smoother. Now, because she was not crate-trained, she may lose her new adoptive home.

I know you THINK you'll never need for your dog to be calm and accepting of snoozing comfortably in a crate for a few hours, but having a crate-trained dog makes it easy for other people to care for your dog. It makes it easy for you to travel with your dog. It is absolutely essential in the event of a disaster like a fire or an earthquake. Please, do it now. Crate-training is a fundamental skill that every dog should have.


We’re absolutely desperate. We adopted a kennel dog at the ____________ on 5/23/10. She is about 1-1/2 yr old Ibizan Hound mix and as sweet as she can be when we are with her. Our problem: crating. We’ve done everything we can to make her comfortable and praise her for going in and out. We’ve crated her while at home and tried to be unemotional outside of praise.

The first day we had to leave her alone, she busted out. Thankfully, she did not destroy anything at home. But after that, she did not enter as willingly and we had to start all over again. We worked hard over the long weekend to coax her back in, feeding and watering her there and only treating when she goes in.

As an alternative, because she is still so hesitant to go all the way in and because we didn’t want to force her in, we bought a gate and tried to gate her in the kitchen. My husband left momentarily and on his return found she had chewed some of our cabinetry near the gate and had reached the countertop and destroyed a cardboard sugar container.

We need help! We have to work and even though my husbands schedule is flexible, he has to leave for at least 4 hours at a time. Today, after finding the destruction in the kitchen, he had to force her in the crate. We both know the implications of that.

Plzzzzzzzzz call us with your recommendations, advice, training suggestions… anything. We so desperately want to keep her and have invested a lot to make her comfortable already. I just don’t know what to do or where to turn.

We are so, so very anxious to hear from you. Please call me on my cell at _______. Thanks a million.

(name and number withheld to protect privacy)